By Don Heckman
So many artists, so many dreams…so much to hear…The post office box fills every day with envelopes packaging their songs, their music, their dreams of being heard.
Since the advent of social media, DIY recording and CD production,CD Baby and self promotion and distribution, the avalanche of requests to be seen and heard and written about is staggering. Over the many decades of my immersion in the business of observing and reviewing music in every form, having a close and live performance encounter with a performer was a given. Nowadays, however,it’s all about CDs, MP3s, SoundCloud, YouTube videos and press releases, and rarely in live performance, always the best way to experience a performer.
Given those limitations, this review is a new exception. An invitation through Facebook from singer Jonathan Karrant prompted my interest enough to request his new album On and On.
Since he is on a brief West Coast tour and will be performing at Vitello’s, one of my favorite Los Angeles venues on June 10, I decided to highlight his album in advance because this is a singer well worth hearing live. He is a seasoned performer with a warm, engaging manner, a voice to match, and an attractive presentation style. A brief scan through You Tube demonstrates that He has been seen by many in performances in New York, Los Vegas, San Diego and elsewhere.
Devoting a close listening to On and On provides an engaging evening of memorable music. Karrant has wisely chosen to focus his talent on the classic Great American Songbook songs so popular with youthful jazz-oriented singers post-Sinatra, as well as the singer/songwriter era.
But Karrant is not a wannabe. His lyric interpretations are deeply personal. Supported by a stellar quartet featuring Josh Nelson (piano), Mark Shapiro (guitar), Rob Thornsen (bass) and Duncan Moore (drums), especially notable are James Taylor’s “Don’t Let me be Lonely Tonight,” and Lennon and McCartney’s “In My Life.” A quiet rendition of “Please Send Me Someone to Love” with solo guitar is a nice contrast to the blues-tinged Mose Allison “Days Like This”.
For more information on his current West Coast schedule starting June 4 in Pallm Springs, check his website: http://www.jonathankarrant.com/shows.php